Lamb barbacoa

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Lamb barbacoa

Main Serves 6 4h 30 min
This recipe will work with leg of lamb but is particularly suited to shoulder. Use a slow cooker if you have one (just double the cooking time). The lamb needs to marinade overnight.


  • 1.2kg lamb shoulder
  • 1 large chilli, chopped
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp black peppercorns
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 300ml red wine
  • 300ml stock
  • 50g dark chocolate
  • 2 tbsp redcurrant jelly
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 750g floury potatoes, cut in 4cm chunks
  • 2 tbsp coriander leaves, chopped
  • salt and pepper


Prep time: 30 min
Cooking time: 4h
  • Step 1

    Trim the lamb of all visible fat. Make a marinade by simmering the chilli, cumin, peppercorns, oregano and garlic in 300ml of water for 30 minutes. Blend with the olive oil and leave to cool. Place the lamb in a plastic bag and add the marinade. Put it in a container and leave somewhere cool overnight.
  • Step 2

    Preheat oven to 120°C/Gas Mark ½. Place the lamb, wine and stock in a lidded casserole or heavy based saucepan and cook for 2½ hours, turning the lamb every 30 minutes or so. You need maximum gentle steam – try covering the dish with greaseproof paper with a small slit, under the lid. After 2½ hours the lamb should look well cooked.
  • Step 3

    Add the chocolate, redcurrant jelly and vinegar and cook for another hour. Carefully remove the lamb and keep it warm in the oven.
  • Step 4

    Place the casserole with the juices on the stove over a gentle heat and add the potatoes – add water to cover if necessary. Cook until they are done. Add the coriander and check the seasoning. Pull the lamb apart and serve the potatoes with the broth they were cooked in and a crisp seasonal coleslaw.

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